June 15, 2009

Home builder confidence falls slightly

Home builders remain unconvinced the U.S. economy is on the road to recovery, an industry trade group said Monday.

The National Association of Home Builders said single family home builders remain cautious and concerned about the fragile state of today's economy. As such, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, measuring confidence among private contractors, slipped one point to 15 in June.

As expected, the housing market continues to bump along trying to find a bottom, said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

Home builders, he said, are taking their cue from customers, who remain uncertain about the economy and their own situation.

Sluggish home sales are slowing down new construction, as many homeowners find they cannot sell their homes, NAHB said.

In June, the current home sales index held steady at 14, while the index measuring traffic of home buyers held at 13. The leading index, measuring home builder expectations for the next six months, dropped by one point to 26.

The group's headline index fell three points in the South, the country's largest housing market. In the Northeast, the composite index HMI index rose one point to 20. In the Midwest, the index gained one point to 15. In the West, it gained two points to 14.